One Hard Sell Rules Them All vs Answering Needs

by Ruud Hein October 24th, 2008 

In the traditional model there is One Message which because of its cost is aimed at a Large Group of People. To engage them, the One Message appeals to the Largest Common Denominator.

The result is that some are somewhat interested but no-one is specifically interested.

To see this method at work, go to your recycle bin: that pile of junk mail, fliers and door-to-door material " most of which you didn't even look at let alone read " is the traditional method.

How would you like to reproduce this method in a digital format?

Would putting your brochure online enhance its efficiency?

Putting your brochure online, preferably with ecommerce abilities so people can buy straight from your web site, is a cost-efficient way to make the Large Group of People that you can reach with your One Message larger. But it doesn't sell more.

Read that again: it doesn't sell more.

So, as was the case with the traditional model, you'll need to make your Large Group of People even larger. Maybe you're thinking about online advertising now?

That too doesn't sell more. Larger numbers get larger numbers but relatively speaking nothing changes.

The New Model

In the traditional model, in order to sell we have to create a need.

In the new model, in order to sell we have to answer needs. Answer. Needs: multiple.

How do we do that?

  • We Identify needs
  • by tracking our brand, our product, our industry, our space
  • so we can respond with detailed, helpful, specific, problem solving content
  • written in the very words and phrases employed by those in need
  • whom in turn will reference your post, your content, your site
  • which will cause your site to bubble up for queries around those issues and, increasingly, for associated issues

The result is hundreds of messages, geared towards the smallest common denominator, so that every visitor is specifically interested.

Show Me the Money!

If it's not immediately apparent where the money is in this model, think about supermarkets giving free cooking lessons. Where are the participants likely to get their ingredients?

By answering the needs of potential customers and solving the problems of existing ones you create a place where free content, free solutions and premium items co-exist in a natural way in an environment and atmosphere which is favorable to you and your brand.

Images courtesy of the mad LOLscientist and aussiegall

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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7 Responses to “One Hard Sell Rules Them All vs Answering Needs”

  1. Michael D says:

    Nice Ruud, I like the bullet points on identifying peoples needs. For years I was guilty of neglecting many of the basic questions people wanted to know about my industry. Changing that model to follow what you highlighted above has made all the difference.

  2. This kind of getting back to basics is urgently needed now. For some strange reason, what is taken for granted in the real world is forgotten and people look for other magic potions on the net. This post bursts that bubble alright.

  3. Metaspring says:

    That is an excellent example of creating a need that you gave: cooking lessons at a super market. Yes I would also be inspired to try out new dishes for which I would source the ingredients from a conveniently close by location.

  4. Identify and answering to the questions people have in mind will definitely boost your popularity and authority in the industry which eventually leads to potential leads too. Nice article. Rif Chia

  5. [...] we asked how to start doing online marketing we saw that the traditional hard-sell method of one message fits all is based on creating a need [...]

  6. hahaha! the first pic is a killer. I totally agree with this article.

  7. [...] you market your business the old-fashioned way, you're probably using broadcast and outbound marketing, such as a commercial on TV or the radio. You're hoping that: the masses watch (or hear) it, [...]